Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book will keep you glued to your seat! I stayed up way too late multiple times trying to find out what was going to happen next!

About the Book

How long does it take to make a murderer?

For sixteen years, the Midwinter Butcher has been lurking in the shadows, committing ritualistic animal killings on the anniversary of DI Joseph Stone’s son’s tragic death. And ever since, Joseph has been desperate to bring them to justice.

Now living alone on a narrowboat in the heart of Oxford, the Irish detective has tried to put his shattered life back together. But with his superiors’ unwillingness to allocate the necessary resources, his quest for justice has been fruitless.

That is until he is teamed with the determined and driven DC Megan Taylor. Together, they begin to unravel the web of clues that leads them closer and closer to the truth. Soon it becomes clear that these animal murders were just a prelude to something much more sinister.

The clock is ticking, and with Joseph’s daughter’s life on the line, He and Megan must risk everything to catch the Midwinter Butcher before it’s too late. Can they bring the killer to justice, and Joseph finally find closure, or will his daughter become the next victim in this twisted game of life and death?

The Dead of Midwinter is J.R. Sinclair’s electrifying debut crime thriller. Sinclair’s writing is a fresh and exciting new voice in the British crime fiction genre, sure to captivate fans of JD Kirk, TG Reid, Alex Smith, and J.E Mayhew. This is a must-read for any crime enthusiast and will keep you guessing until the very end.

My Thoughts

It would almost be easier to list what I didn’t like about this story – nothing! Well, maybe the introduction. It was a little intense and if you’re a parent, it’s difficult. But it’s handled well, and the setup is important. It paves the way for our main character, a grizzled detective with a heart of gold.

As a mystery, this is clearly a plot driven story, but the author blends the characters in so well. The main characters’ interactions with his ex-wife, his sweet daughter, his new partner, his loveable neighbor, and his hated boss are all top-notch. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to spend time with this detective as he maneuvered this truly life and career-defining case.

The setting is one I’ve visited before in other books – and have been lucky enough to visit in person once myself. It’s well defined, and we get to see portions of Oxford that aren’t typical in other stories. I enjoyed seeing Oxford almost entirely separate from the university. While we saw a few professors and libraries, it was easy to forget it was set in the university town.

A second book releases in July, and I couldn’t be more pleased! This is the setup for a brilliant series, and I know it’ll get prime listing on my TBR list! It will certainly interest me to see how they all move past this case, considering how big it was for them for so long.

I received the audiobook copy of this book as part of Love Books Tours, and it has not affected by review. I especially enjoyed the audiobook performance and feel that it added a great deal to the story.

Who’s It For

If you love mysteries with twists, turns, and surprises – you will love this story.

Content Warning: Child Death, Graphic depictions of death/murder scenes, animal mutilation, suggested sexual assault, adult situations, adult language

About the Author

J. R. Sinclair lives in Oxford with his wife and two cats. He will often be found rambling through the streets of the city, keeping an eye on DI Joseph Stone. Rumour has it that they are firm friends.

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